First-Time Home Sellers: Don’t Miss These 4 Tips That Will Keep Your Sale Moving Smoothly

Posted in Home Seller Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on August 15th, 2017

First-Time Home Sellers: Don't Miss These 4 Tips That Will Keep Your Sale Moving SmoothlyAre you selling your home? If it’s your first time going through a home sale, you’ve probably got a lot of questions about the process. In today’s post, we’ll share four tips that can help to keep your home sale moving along smoothly. Let’s get started!

Tip #1: Enlist The Help Of A Professional

First, you’ll want to ensure that you enlist the help of an experienced real estate agent. Selling a home is a significant financial transaction and the process can be especially daunting the first time. A professional agent with sales experience will be a major asset in having a stress-free sale. They’ll know all of the legal and other requirements to selling so you won’t be buried in paperwork. Plus, they’ll have insight into other local sales which can help with listing your home at a competitive price.

Tip #2: Focus On Your ‘Curb Appeal’

As the saying goes: you never get a second chance to make a first impression. With that in mind, you’ll want to ensure that you focus on how your home looks when a potential buyer shows up. If you feel the home could use it, a fresh coat of paint is an inexpensive upgrade that can give your home a new look and feel. Don’t forget your lawn and other landscaping, which should look well-maintained. The last thing a buyer wants to see is a nasty jungle of uncut grass or dying flowers!

Tip #3: Don’t Turn Down A Solid Offer

While you likely shouldn’t jump on the very first offer you get for your home, you also won’t want to pass up on a fair one either. It can be tough attracting a buyer, especially for larger, more expensive or luxurious houses. If your agent advises you to accept a competitive offer, it’s advice that’s well worth considering.

Tip #4: Have Your Share Of The Paperwork Ready

Last but not least, it’s worth having your share of the paperwork ready to go. There’s a lot of documentation required to complete a home sale, and being unprepared is a guaranteed way to make the closing process take longer. Spend the time gathering what you need before you accept an offer and you’ll enjoy a faster sale.

There you have it – four tips that will help to keep your home sale moving along smoothly! When you’re ready to discuss selling your home, contact your trusted real estate professional. We’re happy to share our guidance and experience to help you with your sale.

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Go Big or Go Home: 3 Reasons Why Your First Home Should Be a Spacious One

Posted in Home Buyer Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on August 11th, 2017

Go Big or Go Home: 3 Reasons Why Your First Home Should Be a Spacious OneBuying a home for the first time? One of the key considerations you’ll need to make is just how much ‘house’ you want to buy. While going minimal might seem like a good idea to save on costs, having a smaller living space can end up cramping your lifestyle in many ways. Let’s take a look at three great reasons why your first home should be roomy, spacious and luxurious.

You Might End Up With More Family Than You Think

Have you considered whether or not you want to have a family? Whether you’re a single young professional or part of a newlywed couple, there’s always a chance you’ll end up with more kids than you think. If you’re buying a home for the long haul, you’ll want to ensure that you have enough bedrooms to contain a growing family. It’s much easier to make other use of a spare room than to invent an extra bedroom if you end up with one or two more children than you had planned. Even if you don’t have kids, you may end up welcoming other family members into your home for extended periods.

Small Spaces Limit You In Just About Every Way

As you might imagine, small living spaces will limit your options. Whether you want to build out a new media room or just want more luxurious furniture, much of the time living small means living without. Buying a larger home from the start will give you all of the space needed to build your dream home. And over time, you’re far more likely to enjoy living in a home that you can tweak and customize to suit your changing tastes.

You Can Always Monetize The Extra Space

Don’t forget that extra space can always be put to good use. If you have a finished basement, you can possibly rent the suite out to a tenant. Or, you can host guests in your extra bedrooms using apps like Airbnb. If you’re more of an entrepreneurial type, you can start a small business out of one of the spare rooms.

These are just a few of the many reasons why buying a larger home is an excellent idea. For more information about luxurious homes that are for sale in the local area, contact your trusted real estate professional today.

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Yes, You Should Take the Plunge and Buy a New Home in 2017. Here’s Why

Posted in Home Buyer Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on August 9th, 2017

Yes, You Should Take the Plunge and Buy a New Home in 2017. Here's WhyAre you thinking about buying a house, apartment or condo? In many markets across the country, there’s never been a better time than now to become a homeowner. In this post, we’ll share a few reasons why the conditions are right to jump into the market and buy a new home.

Interest Rates Are Heading Up

If you’re like most home buyers, you’re probably looking to make use of mortgage financing to help spread out the purchase cost over a longer period of time. If so, you’ll want to make a move in 2017 so you can lock in a low interest rate. The Federal Reserve has indicated that interest rates are going to continue to rise over the next year or two. If that prediction holds true, mortgage costs will continue to grow along with rates. Buying in 2017 means that you’ll be able to secure a lower mortgage rate which in turn will save you money.

It’s A Buyer’s Market In Most Areas

Depending on the community that you’re looking to buy in, you may find that it’s a bit of a buyer’s market. There are a number of individuals looking to sell their homes to lock in the price appreciation that’s taken place during the recovery since the 2008 financial crisis. More listings on the market mean that sellers will be open to negotiation as they won’t want their home sale to take weeks or months. If you’re pre-approved for your mortgage financing and are serious about buying, you may be able to convince a seller to take a lower offer than they normally would.

You’ll Start Building Real Net Worth

Of course, one of the best parts of buying a home is that it’s a significant financial investment. Properly maintained, your home should continue to increase in value over time. As you continue to invest in upgrades and renovations, you’ll build more and more equity that can be used as leverage for additional credit or just pocketed when you eventually decide to sell. Even though every market has its ups and downs, owning real estate is a far greater path to prosperity than renting.

When you’re ready to get into the market and find your dream home, we’re here to help. Contact us today and we’ll be happy to introduce you to some beautiful new homes that suit your tastes and budget.

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3 Ugly Truths You’ll Discover Trying to Buy a Home Without a Real Estate Agent

Posted in Home Buyer Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on August 4th, 2017

3 Ugly Truths You'll Discover Trying to Buy a Home Without a Real Estate AgentMany people, whether they are new to the market or have purchased a home before, consider investing in a home without the help of an agent. While there are benefits involved with going it alone, there are also a number of drawbacks that can significantly impact the success of your home purchase. If you’re wondering about the difficulties involved in going “agent-less”, consider the following points.

It’s A Lot Of Legwork

It might seem simple if you’ve found a house and you like it, but a lot more goes into investing in a home than just finding a place. While you can do research on your own, an experienced real estate agent will have knowledge of the market and the neighborhoods you’re searching in and will be able to share an insider’s perspective. As a result, they may be more successful at providing you with insights about the local community and the price you should be paying. All of which would be hard to determine on your own.

Navigating The Process

Home ownership can be considered as easy as signing on the dotted line, but there are so many steps that go into making the final purchase that having someone experienced along to assist can be very beneficial. In addition to pay stubs, tax returns, employment records and bank statements, you’ll need to deal with legal forms, deeds and a ton of other information the home sellers and your lender will need. Fortunately, an agent will be familiar with what’s needed and will be able to simplify the process wherever possible.

The Right Home Takes Time

The right agent may make finding a home look pretty easy, but it takes a lot of knowledge and experience to be able to find what works for you. As a result, it’s very easy to underestimate the amount of time you’ll need to invest in research and open houses and even negotiating to find your next home. If you don’t have the time to do what’s needed to find the right place for you, it may be worth enlisting the services of a professional.

It can be tempting to forego the costs of an agent when it comes to buying a home, but the right agent can save you time and help you find the right place at the right price. If you’re currently preparing to invest in a home, contact your local real estate professional for more information.

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The Five Most Common Overlooked Expenses When Selling a House

Posted in Home Seller Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on August 2nd, 2017

The Five Most Common Overlooked Expenses When Selling a HouseMost homeowners are so enthusiastic about putting their home on the market and getting the price they’re hoping for that the expenses involved in selling a home are forgotten. However, it’s often said that one has to spend money to make money, and selling a home is no exception! If you’re wondering what kinds of overlooked expenses will cut into your home sale, here are some costs to consider.

Minor Renovations

There are always a few things to fix-up when it comes time to sell your home, but by establishing what will best increase your home’s value, you can make it a good investment. Instead of going it blind, create a renovation budget so any cost you incur will pay for itself.

Staging Your Home

It’s possible you may be able to get away with minimal costs when it comes to home staging, but adding a few small details can improve the overall impression of your home. Instead of spending an abundance on dressing up your home, put your time into cleaning and de-cluttering for ample effect.

Closing Costs

It goes without saying that closing costs can add up to a lot of money at the end of the day, but many people forget they’re part of the transaction. Closing costs can include anything from transfer tax to title insurance to escrow fees so it may be worth talking to your agent to see if they can give you a deal.

Real Estate Commission

It’s easy to forget, but using a real estate agent to sell your home will require you to pay a portion of your home’s sale to them. While you may be able to negotiate this percentage with your agent, it’s worth realizing that an agent will help you garner a higher price and will do a lot of the leg work for you.

The Moving Van

It might be too soon to think about, but if you have a lot of stuff and don’t want to take on the task yourself, you’ll need to hire a moving company to help you relocate. Instead of leaving this to the last minute, contact a few popular movers to get pricing, and don’t wait until the last minute to schedule your move. If you’re desperate, you’re likely to pay more.

Selling a home can be a financial boon, but there are many expenses that can come along with it. If you’re currently preparing to put your home on the market, contact your local real estate professional for more information.

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Buying a Home in a Fire Risk Area: Here’s What You Need to Know

Posted in Home Buyer Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on July 18th, 2017

Buying a Home in a Fire Risk Area: Here's What You Need to KnowOutside of the significant financial responsibility of delving into home ownership, there can also be a lot of other risks involved that you may not have thought about before investing in a home. You’ll need to protect your home against theft or burglary, and homeowner’s insurance to protect your home and belongings. But there are other less common occurrences you may not have thought about. If you happen to be living in an area that’s at high risk of fire, here are some things to consider beforehand.

Defining “High Risk”

It’s easy to be swept away by a beautiful home and forget about what the natural landscape around it consists of. Many homes across the United States are built in areas close to trees and shrubs, which can be dangerous in times of high temperatures, so it’s important to do your research. While hot spots can occur in many different areas, California and the southwest region are particularly vulnerable in times of drought.

What It Means For Your Mortgage

Nearly all homes can be adversely affected by a fire so it’s important to realize that buying in a high-risk area will not impact your ability to get a mortgage. It can, however, impact some of the costs associated with investing in your home. While homeowner’s insurance is a requirement of buying a home and it will generally cover you in the incidence of a fire, it can be a bit pricier. Fortunately, you may be able to guard against some of the additional costs by purchasing a home with materials that are more fire resistant.

In The Event Of Fire

If the worst happens and your home incurs damage from a fire, you’ll want to assess the extent of the damage before making a decision on how to proceed. For a home that is minimally impacted, you may want to use insurance to repair the property. However, if the property is significantly or completely destroyed, a payout may be required in order to pay off the mortgage. Before purchasing a home in a fire-prone area it’s best to be aware of all aspects of your insurance policy so you can be prepared.

It’s a more significant risk to buy a home in a fire-prone area, but you can be prepared for the worst by knowing your options. If you’re currently considering purchasing a new home, contact your local real estate professional for more information.

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Selling Your Home This Summer? Here’s Why You’ll Want to Recruit the Neighbors to Help

Posted in Home Seller Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on July 14th, 2017

Selling Your Home This Summer? Here's Why You'll Want to Recruit the Neighbors to HelpWith the power of social media, it’s easier than ever to use Twitter and Facebook and your own home website to sell your home online. However, there are a lot of different buyers on the market and that means it’s important to keep all your options open when it comes to marketing your home. If you’re wondering how you can harness the power of your neighbors to get the word out, here are some tips you may want to consider.

It’s Extra Marketing

If you have a good relationship with the people in your area, it’s possible that they’ll be happy to get the word out for you and assist you in the sale of your home. Whether they happen to have friends who might be interested in a property in the area or are willing to otherwise point out your place, a positive relationship can lead to opportunities that may come from the most unexpected places!

Selling The Home’s Reliability

In all likelihood, your neighbors will be well aware of situations adversely impacting the community or any past situations that have affected your home, whether there’s been a break in or a roofing issue. It’s often the case that potential buyers will consult with your neighbors to hear more about your home’s history. Since you won’t want an interested party to hear any bad news from your neighbor, it’s important to be upfront and discuss any adjustments or renovations you’ve made with your neighbors so you can be on the same page if an issue comes up.

Keeping Them In The Loop

In the sanctity of your own home, it can be easy to forget about the neighbors just next door. But don’t forget that the stream of people coming to look at your home can have an impact on those who live around you. Instead of neglecting to prepare your neighbors for additional visitors, go door-to-door and bring some baked goods or other treats to inform them of upcoming open houses. Not only will they appreciate the gesture, they might be happy to push some interested parties in your direction.

There are many ways to market a home sale, but it’s important not to forget about how your neighbors can assist you in getting your home off the market and sold. If you’re currently preparing to sell your home, contact your local real estate professional for more tips and advice.

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Buying a Home for the First Time? Five Real Estate Terms You’ll Need to Know

Posted in Home Buyer Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on July 7th, 2017

Buying a Home for the First Time? Five Real Estate Terms You'll Need to KnowThe terminology involved in the real estate market can be vexing for the newcomer, but if you’re getting prepared to buy a home, there are a few choice words you should take some time to learn. While it’s hard to learn the ins and outs in one article, here’s a place to begin with five terms you may be hearing a lot of in the future.

Amortization Period

It may sound like a very fancy term, but the amortization period or mortgage term is simply the length of time it will take you to pay off your mortgage loan by monthly mortgage payments. While 25 years is the standard amortization period, it varies from lender to lender.

Fixed Rate Mortgage

A fixed rate mortgage is one of the interest rate options you’ll have which involves a stable interest rate that remains unchanged. While this means your monthly payment will stay the same each month, it can also mean a higher amount paid overall since your fixed rate may be higher than the market rate over time.

Adjustable Rate Mortgage

Another option when it comes to mortgage interest rates is an adjustable rate, which means that your monthly payment will fluctuate along with the prime market rate. While this can provide a sense of insecurity since your mortgage payment will shift each month, it can end up being more economical than a fixed rate.

Closing Costs

Buying a home can cost enough with the loan, the down payment, and the interest, but closing costs will also be a part of the housing costs. Closing costs generally range anywhere from 2-5%, they include items like loan administration costs and title insurance costs that come part and parcel with the mortgage.

There are many terms in the world of real estate, but by making yourself aware of a few and doing your research, you can begin to understand what they mean for you. If you’re ready to invest in a home, contact your local real estate professional for more information.

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Understanding Why the Highest Offer Isn’t Always the Best One When Selling Your Home

Posted in Home Seller Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on June 30th, 2017

Understanding Why the Highest Offer Isn't Always the Best One When Selling Your HomeWhen it comes to the real estate market, nothing is better than putting your home up for sale and finding a potential homebuyer who offers you the price you’re looking for. However, while the right offer is ideal, there are a lot of things that may come along with a high offer that may be less than perfect. If you’re wondering what kinds of things can hamper a good offer, you may want to watch out for the following.

What’s The Timeline?

If you’re almost packed and you’re prepared to go, there won’t necessarily be any inconvenience in dealing with a 30-day closing period. However, if you’re not quite ready to move, having to close quickly can add a lot of pressure to a stressful situation. While it may be do-able to make the arrangements to move in a short amount of time, if it’s not the way you want to leave your old house and move on, you may want to go with a more flexible offer.

The Details On Cash

The right price is indeed a good offer, but when it comes to homebuyers who can pay with cash, there’s a lot less to worry about on the back end. As a result, cash can easily trump many other offers for the convenience of not having to deal with lenders or many other factors involved in closing the purchase. While it might not seem like most people have the available cash on hand, cash purchases on real estate are becoming more common, and with less complication, they can be more enticing.

Are There Contingencies?

If you’re experiencing a bidding war with your home, it’s important to look at all the details of the offers and ascertain which one can best be relied upon. That’s why it’s important to look at any contingencies on the home sale that may have to do with the financing, appraisal or inspection. An offer may be more than a little striking at the start, but if there are a lot of strings attached, there may be a bidder with a lower offer who’s less likely to back out.

It’s easy to get snared by the highest offer when selling your home, but it’s important to be aware of your timeline and any contingencies before accepting an offer. If you’re currently preparing to put your home on the market, contact your local real estate professional for more information.

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Facing a Scorching Hot Housing Market? 3 Reasons You’ll Want a Great Real Estate Agent

Posted in Home Buyer Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on June 27th, 2017

Facing a Scorching Hot Housing Market? 3 Reasons You'll Want a Great Real Estate AgentFor many homeowners who are selling in today’s real estate market, pinching every penny can be important. They may be considering opting out of using a real estate agent and going with the DIY approach. However, there are many things an agent can do for you in a hot market that is worth the money. If you’re wondering how a real estate agent can help you, here are some things to consider.

Understanding The Neighborhood

It’s possible that you know your neighborhood quite well and are aware of the selling prices of many homes in the area. However, an experienced agent will have a good grasp on the history of your neighborhood and has probably sold a house in your area before. While research is great, prior knowledge can give them a leg up in determining exactly how you can price your house for maximum success. Instead of having to guess at what will work, they will have the know-how to make a sound judgment.

Marketing Know-How

Most real estate agents have dealt with the ups and downs of the market, and this generally means that they’ve learned how to succeed even when the chips are down. When it comes to marketing, the right agent will have the contacts and the savvy to determine the best approach for selling your home. Whether it involves posts on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, an online website or an Open House, an agent will know how to appeal to your ideal buyer and garner you the best offer around.

Closing The Deal

With so much money involved for both the seller and the buyer, the likelihood of getting your asking price right off the bat is not high. In situations like this, it’s more than a little helpful to have a real estate agent around who understands the negotiating process and how to close the deal. Not only will they be able to advise you on what your home is worth and what it can garner, they can also advise you on when you should consider a lower offer.

It may be tempting to go it alone when it comes to selling your house, but the right agent can be instrumental in marketing your home and getting you the price you’re asking for. If you’re currently preparing to put your home up for sale, contact your local real estate professional for more information.

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